Florida has decided that it is necessary to protect minors by enacting laws against minors in possession of alcohol. This is a common charge during Spring Break in Daytona Beach. To reduce underage drinking Florida decided they would attempt to give anybody under the age of 21 that is caught by law enforcement with alcohol a criminal record. We do not make light of the fact that minors and alcohol can be dangerous but we do not understand how it helps a young adult to try to tag them with a criminal record. In some cases a MIP charge can also result in a driver’s license suspension.
If you are caught with alcohol in Daytona Beach and are under 21 we can help. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts is a former Daytona Beach prosecutor and defense attorney. Mr. Pitts has prosecuted and defended MIP cases in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas. The State Attorney’s Office in Daytona generally does a good job of working with defense attorneys to avoid a criminal record for the kids and young adults who get caught with alcohol.
Many people are thrilled to find out they can just pay a fine or ticket in Daytona Beach but this is a common trick used by local law enforcement is to disguise the misdemeanor as a payable infraction. The problem is that when you pay that fine you have a criminal record. You are not adjudicated guilty but anybody can look you up on the Clerk’s website and see that you accepted responsibility for a misdemeanor alcohol offense. You can get your record sealed but it takes about 6-12 months and after 10 years you can get it expunged.
It will save you money and hassle in the long run if you hire a Daytona Beach MIP attorney to properly resolve your case. We will fight to keep you from having to plea to a misdemeanor. Many cases can be dismissed after completing some community service and paying the cost of prosecution and investigation. Sometimes a formal diversion is required but the charges can still be dropped. Not all cases will be dismissed but unless the accused already has a criminal record the State will almost always work out some type of agreement to avoid a criminal record. Do not pay a minor in possession of alcohol ticket in Daytona Beach without talking to Daytona Beach MIP Attorney Kevin J. Pitts.
The penalties for violating Florida’s MIP law are:
- First MIP Offense—You will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and ordered to pay a fine of $500 and sentenced up to 60 days in jail.
- Second MIP Offense—You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and sentenced up to one year in jail.
In addition, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to withhold the issuance of, revoke or suspend your driver’s license or driving privileges as follows:
- First MIP Conviction—Not less than six months and not more than one year.
- Subsequent MIP Conviction—Up to a period of two years.
562.111 Possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21 prohibited.—
(1) It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years, except a person employed under the provisions of s. 562.13 acting in the scope of her or his employment, to have in her or his possession alcoholic beverages, except that nothing contained in this subsection shall preclude the employment of any person 18 years of age or older in the sale, preparation, or service of alcoholic beverages in licensed premises in any establishment licensed by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco or the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 562.45, any person under the age of 21 who is convicted of a violation of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; however, any person under the age of 21 who has been convicted of a violation of this subsection and who is thereafter convicted of a further violation of this subsection is, upon conviction of the further offense, guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.775.083.